05/04/2018

Motherhood- a kill joy?


The enemy has stolen our joy  in "mothering" and in" motherhood". 🤰🤱 Motherhood goes back to the beginning of the earth and it is a GOOD thing. We have swallowed the lies of a wordly "self-love", 🖤 this kind of self live doesn't last.
Jesus says :  "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends". John 15:13.
This goes against the worldly wisdom and sounds so foolish to those who do not know the Lord. The world says "love yourself, think of your self first, you come first..."... Joy isn't happiness. Happiness is flaky. Joy is solid regardless of your circumstances:
J- 1st (God) Jesus
O- 2nd others
Y- 3rd yourself
We're so short-sighted, and constantly battle with guilt, wants, wants, wants, lethargy, frustration, discontent etc. No wonder mothering and motherhood has such a bad rep.
These days no one speaks positively about motherhood, babies and toddlers. For example on social media,  there are countless forum threads about stay-at-home moms venting and focusing negatively on how hard everything is and how they wished for this season to hurry on and pass by.
We're constantly bombarded by our needs and our wants, by the social media, advertisments, by negative from friends and family.
Children have become a burden. Mothering has become a burden. Since when? It's not a privilege, a Joy or a blessing that it was designed to be. We can take this back you know! God's on our side!
Mothers keep searching for ways and demanding to "self love", so that they can "recuperate", yet we're never satisfies, and our thirst is never quenched.
We don't see and hear the cuteness and the sweetness in the cries of our babies, and we don't tune in to nurture and to soothe.
We hear a needy baby who just won't settle, and we see all the things we would rather want, and do... and experience.
No one is happy. No one has Joy. All of us are robbed. We didn't love on our baby/children purposefully, and we became stagnant. By pouring our love intentionally,  we will be refilled by a Greater Love that never grows weary. For those who like to recycle.

30/03/2018

Easter Pasha (S)

Calling all Nordics! THM'fied Pasha is here! Okay, a day late -but it's here! You got like 2 days to make this, devour it and call it Easter. This is the ultimate Easter dessert! Well, at least in Finland. Here we go,

You'll need




  • 1.5 sticks of butter
  • 2/3C Gentle Sweet
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4C Greek Yoghurt/Qwark
  • 3/4C whipping/heavy cream
  • 2-4T sultanas/diced apricots (if you don't mind going over to the XO'r, then don't shy away)
  • 4T almond slices or slivers
  • juice of 1 lemon (I also added a few drops of doTERRA Wild Orange Essential Oil)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1-2t vanilla extract
  • fine mesh sieve or bonus points if you have the traditional "pasha mold". (I obviously didn't!)
  • muslin/cheese cloth
Instructions

  1. Whisk together butter and Gentle Sweet. 
  2. Add egg, yoghurt and cream. Whisk for 1 or 2 more minutes. 
  3. Pour into a pot and turn the stove to medium LOW -do not boil!
  4. Heat and keep stirring until the mixture loosens up and begins to steam. Make sure you don't simmer or boil, else it will separate. This process usually takes about 5 minutes. 
  5. Zest the lemon in and add the vanilla extract. Let the mixture cool an hour or 2.
  6. Add the almonds, sultanas and lemon juice. 
  7. Line the sieve with the cheese cloth/muslin, and pour the mixture in. Cover it gently with the cloth and rest the sieve in a large bowl. Place the bowl into the fridge over night and unravel the next day. 
  8. Flip onto a serving plate and decorate with fresh berries or more sultanas. I used dried apricots. 


So this is my "little bit of Finland" during every Easter. I have let go of many traditions to save my sanity, but this is something I can easily keep and my family doesn't mind at all.

I brought this dish over to our friends today and within minutes this dessert was devoured and the plate licked, if I hadn't interfered. Ha!

Let me know what you think if you do decide to give it a go :) Oh, and some of you might notice the spelling differs from what you're used to or may disagree with the origin of Pasha... who cares! More power to you! It's a yummy dish, am I right or am I right?

Blessings!

Do check out my recipes on HolyTempleUnderRenovation
HERE

07/03/2018

Ultra Organized Kitchen Part 1


I wanna share about how I'm being frugal with our grocery bills while, keeping my sanity in the tiny, and dated kitchen that I'm working with LOL

xo


1. Only buy what you truly use. Keep it simple. I know we love to try new recipes that call for random ingredients, but don't! Like Pearl and Serene say, "what's your sweats?!" If you are craving for an exotic dish - eat out. If you make exotic dishes all of the time, well, these are your "mundane and simple" ingredients.

As a mother of a larger crowd, I need to keep things pretty basic. Basic doesn't mean bland. I've gathered our favourite meals and their ingredients and that's that!

2. Lazy Susans! Not only do they prevent you from stacking your cupboards full of random bags and boxes, they help you access the ingredients you have, too! I have one next to my stove for utensils, cooking oil and spices as well.


3. Don't label your products unless you're seriously suffering from dementia. There really is no need to. It's "visual noise", I don't care how pretty it looks like, just don't. 
By keeping your products to a limit, you can tell the difference between the ingredients, trust me. If you still want to, use labels that you can erase like chalk board stickers. I got mine long time ago, before I realized, in my case, it was a waste of time.

4. Keep spices that you use more often, closer. I got my home made seasoning mixes in previous spice tubs I've purchased, and I use them OFTEN. They are so versatile & used in many different types of recipes. I love simplifying spices by mixing them together.


Firstly, if a recipe calls for e.g garlic, onion and salt - what's the danger of adding a little bit of parsley in there too? Hence, the Ranch seasoning mix!

Secondly, do you really want to open 4 to 7 spice tubs, when you can cut the hassle in half or even more? I guess I don't...?? ðŸ˜’

Thirdly, organize your spices by "themes".

Not only does this save you money!! But it keep your life a bit less chaotic. Especially your kitchen.

Anyone else on instagram sharing their journey???

05/03/2018

Home Chapel part 1

Say what??

A HOME CHAPEL?

Yes.

So, this is something that I have wanted to do for a while now. Our downstairs is one of the messiest parts of our home and I hate going down there. Why?

Well, our rec (recreation) room is always chaotic, thanks to the numerous bits of toys and books which we try so hard to keep organized and stored away in our "toy library" (something I have to post about later). From the rec room to the laundry room is a narrow hallway that is so narrow, that even a hair band on the floor is, trip'able on. It also stores our deep freeze, so I have no choice but to brave this area of the house. Ugh!

Our laundry room, which has the best system in the world (also something I will post about on a later date), collects shreds of random paper crafts, among other annoying stick-to-the-sock bits, how on earth... I don't know?? I need to figure something out as soon as possible! Needless to say, the downstairs is a cold, unwelcoming place which I will tackle soon.

I have thought through and tried numerous ways to make the rec room more inviting, practical, spacious, soothing and restful. I have always failed. Whatever we try, fails. It ends up being "trashed" by the kids and we have to face the agonizing task of cleaning it up every Thursday, to welcome our children's piano teacher on the Friday. Gah!

No thanks!

But, ahha! Then it dawned on me, Simon has daily devotions with our children at least once or twice a day! Usually we have morning Bible study around the breakfast table and prayer time in our living room. What if, we had a room purposely designated for something great. I mean REAALLY great? What else could be greater than coming together in worship, learn about and pray to our God?! Jesus in the midst of us!

Could I really contemplate turning our messy TV room into a "chapel" with couches and lounge chairs for future Bible studies (women's breakfast or our church's youth gatherings) , our morning and post dinner devotionals? Would this room hold our precious prayer box and hymn books? Could we Youtube our favourite worship songs with lyrics on the TV and actually have a gathering in the middle of the week? Why, yes we can!

Why was I second guessing myself? What would people think?

Who cares! This will be amazing, I just know it.

So then I asked myself, what does a church outside of church look like? Does it need an altar of some kind, a cross, seating (preferably comfy), access to Bibles and prayer boxes. How, where? We already have our piano and guitars downstairs, so music will be sorted!

Where will I get the cross from?

Obviously I won't be buying it since I've already made a commitment with Simon to be frugal,  and a cross is not in the budget. So.....

You guessed it (or did you??), I made it!

This post is part 1 because I have not transformed the rec room into our "chapel" yet. Keep posted by subscribing and you'll see what the finished product will look like in part 2, -the BIG reveal!


Simon was so kind to cut out the cross for me from a sheet of Styrofoam which we had several pieces left over from my previous craft session (will blog later, too).


I found some gold adhesive to cover the Styrofoam with. Not easy, that's what duct tape is for. In Finnish we call duct-tape "Jesus tape" because it can do miracles. How fitting!


Next, I added burlap to dim down the shining gold. After all, we didn't want it to resemble the "golden calf". Just kidding. The glue gun was my best friend.


Now the fun begins.



Gluing the flowers. This was tricky. I didn't want to cover the cross completely with flowers, but I had so much I wanted to use!


I stuck with white flowers to resemble His righteousness. Purity. Holy. The red resembles the blood he shed for us, giving us new life. 

The gold that shimmers through the burlap, resembles the "golden city" and crown that awaits for us. The burlap resembles the humility and meekness that we need to put on, and let the gold (Jesus' light) shine through. 


Finished product, but not at it's final destination.

Click on the photo to view larger.

In part 2, I will show you the before and after pictures of our renewed and re purposed room.

Stay tuned!!!

Don't forget to visit my YouTube channel to see my vlog on this project (up soon!)

04/03/2018

I've Started Vlogging!

And I'm a novice! So please be patient with me,  as I'm navigating through the big world of creative editing!

www.youtube.com/c/HolyTempleUnderRenovation

Do me a huge favour and subscribe!

But before you do, let me know what you would like to see me vlog about?

28/02/2018

I couldn't Pump

When I had my first baby, everything related to nursing was like a crash course. Right after the birth of my first born, I was very blessed to have an experienced midwife (back in Finland) to really emphasize the importance of nursing, and how valuable mother's milk is. I took everything she said to heart and delivered "creamy-cream" to my infant. He grew and he grew fast!

My son must've been a few months old when I decided to attend a women's meeting at church, without him. If I would've known then what I know and believe now, I would've taken him with me. However, I was a newbie and most likely pressured by other moms to leave him home and to go enjoy "my own time". All I had to do is pump a little milk into a bottle and my husband would be more than okay to take care of him while I was gone.

Well, things did not go as planned. The electric and manual breast pumps that I purchased for times like these, did not work on me. I sat there for a good hour, maybe in 15 to 30minute sessions, sore-nippled, defeated, feeling guilty and disappointed in my own body for not producing "liquid gold" for my precious baby. After all, all the moms I knew could express a full bottle in no time. I remember one friend donating her breast milk away, because she was literally flowing milk into those manual pumps and could easily fill up a bottle in less than 5 minutes.

Not me. I tried everything! Heat pads, nursing baby while I pumped, looking at my baby intensely with warm mothering nurturing feelings....I squinted and focused my very best but, nada. I may have expressed a drop that dried up before it even hit the bottom of the bottle.

Thankfully not very long after that incident, our child-care clinic nurse told me about these amazing "milk-catchers". They're like little saucers that you place in your bra, and while you're nursing your baby, it catches what you leak from your other nipple. I used to fill these bad boys up! We would collect throughout the day into the fridge and bag up and freeze before we hit the sack. I had a good stash of "liquid gold" tucked in my freezer for the times that I was away.

And guess what happened 11 years later?! Keep reading...

Throughout the 11 years with my other babies, I tried all kinds of breast pumps. I was certain that there was a brand out there that would work for me. I tried every brand I could get my hands on. I'm just thankful that I had been smart about it and borrowed/rented them instead of purchasing them, so I didn't lose too much money! 

After 5 babies, I discovered this silicone breast pump. 



What do you think happened? I gave it a go and it worked! Not only did it catch my leaking milk, but it encouraged it out in streams!? This is huge guys! HUGE! I couldn't believe it, my husband was in shock too! I was like "honey, look!!! Look! I got 30ml, just in a few minutes!" Needless to say, I was super stoked but also, so encouraged and empowered! I have a stash! Hello date-nights!

So what happened next? I stand behind these amazing products that we went ahead and sourced high quality food grade collectors and pumps to sell on Amazon as a home business. You all deserve to give these a try, and I'm pretty sure that these will be a huge blessing to your mothering years of breastfeeding your little miracles.

So, here I am a homeschooling mama of 5 with a "side hussle" that benefits us women. Go check these out, my two new products on Amazon and tell me what's YOUR story?!

Do you struggle with pumping?

Here's my #5 in a "milk coma". Stay little, my precious little man.


Since I'm just getting started with these products, I'm offering active bloggers/vloggers to receive one of, or both of these, for free! Comment below if you're interested! 

Silicone Breast Pump click here

Milk Collectors click here

26/02/2018

My Top #10 - oops 11! February 2018



  1. Baobab fruit powder. I have yet to get sick this year (Fall 2017- Spring 2018). I don't know whether it is because I have been religiously getting Meyer's Cocktails (IV vitamin therapy), or whether it's because I have been adding Baobab powder to my daily sippers? Or a combination? Whatever the case is, I dare not go a day without 1T of Baobab powder. This my friends, is the REAL deal. 
  2. True Lime and True Lemon sachets. I love these! water enhancers sweetened with stevia. My favourite sipper is one of these true lemon/lime sachets, 1T Baobab, 1T ACV (apple cider vinegar), and 1/4 gallon of water. Sometimes, I add ground ginger and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  3. Grocery shopping over the border. I have been doing this for about 2 years now. Every so often, I will hop over the border (not illegally of course!) to do some grocery shopping. I posted my recent "grocery haul"on YouTube (Click Here!), go check it out! Why do I shop in the US? Well firstly, it takes around 20 to 30minutes to drive to the border, and usually we've been really lucky with the border lines. Secondly, the food I need fits better with our budget and household size (larger quantities). Thirdly, I get stuff I cannot get from Canada (just some stuff are novelties!). And fourthly, it's always fun to do a mini road trip with your "besties" and on top of that, visit our favourite restaurant! 
  4. Cat Nip -ha ha ha! No, but for real it is ridiculously cute to watch the cats go wild. We got 3 kittens last year. I almost crossed the "crazy cat lady" line.
  5. Dark roast decaf. I gave up caffeine a while ago, but not coffee. I love coffee. I love dark roast and Italian. I realized that drinking coffee really affected my night sleep, even if I could fall asleep without any problems. Also, since I'm nursing baby Alistair, he seems to be sleeping a little bit better too.
  6. Trim Healthy Mama. I'm so back on the THM plan. I have lost around 25lb so far. My post birth weight was around 231 to 233lb, my current weight is 207.2 and my goal weight is around 135 to 150lb. I am aiming to be there sometime in 2019. I cannot believe the "food freedom" THM provides you! It is incredible! If you haven't looked into it yet, I suggest you do! Do not go another day without reading about it and giving it a go! You can follow my journey on Instagram (CLICK HERE!) and see what I eat, how I feel, read about my "non-scale-victories" and more! Check out Trim Healthy Mama by clicking here.
  7. Created To Be His Help Meet by, Debi Pearl. What can I say about this book? I had several women warn me about this book. Some threw "book reviews" my way, and of course these reviews were advocating for women NOT to read this book. Well, I'm one of those gals that likes to make her "own reviews" and I'm so glad I did. I was so close to putting this book down and continuing on with my life, but there was something that really intrigued me, "why is this book rubbing so many the wrong way?" Geez Louise, mama bear! This is hardcore stuff! Sure, there was stuff that I didn't agree with in particular, but I'm really glad I didn't throw the baby out with the bath water, if you know what I mean! Our marriage has experienced tremendous healing through this book and I am grateful for that! I'm talking about 12 years of a certain thorn in our side, gone! You might not want to pick up this book, but if you decide not to, please don't let it be because of some nasty book review. 
  8. The Excellent Wife by, Martha Peace. This book is a notch down from Debi Pearls book. Ha!
  9. Above Rubies. What can I say? I stumbled across this magazine (ministry) almost 12 years ago in Finland. Above Rubies has carried me so far in my motherhood journey than any other mother support group-ladies weekly Bible study- mother or in law support- combined or imagined! The hope and strength that I possess as a mother today, is because of the Above Rubies Ministry. I have gained so much knowledge, so much wisdom, so much hope and encouragement, joy...the list goes on! Above Rubies has pointed me to the Cross, the Truth in regards to what "mothering" is all about. I cannot thank AR enough. Check them out! (Click Here)
  10. Instagram -is where I've been active recently. More than Facebook. If you want to know what's going on with me on a regular basis, check there first!
  11. Holy Temple Health products on Amazon Empty Gelatin CapsulesSilicone Breast Pump and Breast Milk Collectors. So this is exciting!!!! We've launched our own business! Who knew we would be selling pregnancy, baby and health related (my personally favourite products ever) goodies on Amazon?! We do not believe in debt so we launched our little business initially with only $500 that hubby got as a bonus last year. Starting out small and Lord willing, this will grow. Keep us in your prayers!
Whats up with you guys? Missed you!

06/08/2017

I'm back! Pregnancy and Birth Update!

I am so sorry that I have not been blogging. Many things have taken priority over this, and I just couldn't find the time or the energy to share about anything...really.

So whats new??

Well, we welcomed our 5th baby into this world mid July :) (it's a boy...he was a chunky monkey at 11.4 lb 5.1 kg)! The past year was pretty much all (mostly) about maintaining a HG free pregnancy, and I did it! Thank God...

What was my plan to dodge HG? Read about it HERE and HERE

How did I do? Did I follow through? I'll have to break it down for you. So below was my plan (in black font) and my commentating will be in red font.

Diet

Don't do's  (From before getting pregnant to birth)

  • No sugar. I have to be aware of and avoid hidden sugars. Most of the time, I did extremely well! And then I hit something 30+ weeks in my third trimester and things started to go downhill a bit. This was the time I vomited 3 times, the only 3 times of my entire pregnancy! 
  • No unsprouted wheat, and very little sprouted ones. Yup! (Unless I was out of sprouted wheat products and then I had some of the other stuff...and in my third trimester as well...)
  • No white rice or white potatoes. Except in sushi rolls :)
  • No caffeine, coffee, and consume very little home made Skinny Chocolate. I just packed away my "Keurig"... sigh* And yah, this didn't last long. This was my very first pregnancy where I even tolerated coffee. It caused horrible, horrible heart burn too...
  • No heated oils. Using the good oils as salad dressings etc. Epic fail.
  • No processed foods. No junk! Fail.... (during late pregnancy)
Do do's (ha ha!)
  • Increase fermented foods, sauerkraut, pickles, ACV, probiotics, kefir, kombucha tea, etc After conceiving, sauerkraut, ACV and homemade kimchi were the only things I was able to maintain. I believe that it was enough. Thanks to GGMS, I was able to cope in the mornings when needed.
  • Increase vegetables, especially leafy greens. Last pregnancy I was able to juice vegetables more than I could eat them, and it helped me a lot. I didn't juice at all. Too much work. BUT!, I did purchase some "green powders" from Isagenix. They worked great! I really felt like I was benefiting from it.
  • Keep hydrated. I know I love me GGMS', but I need to start loving plain old water as well. I've heard that natural spring water makes a bigger difference than filtered water. I gotta check this claim out. Yes ma'm! And tons of ice:) Even though I was not able to purchase gazillions of gallons of natural spring water, my tap water (cleanest water evvvver, yay Coquitlam!) was good enough. 
  • Eat according to the Trim Healthy Mama plan. Indeed made a difference! 
  • Supplementation. I am seeing a Naturapathic Dr, getting tested for everything to see where my body is at, and we will be supplementing on what needs addressing. Exciting times, indeed! I've never been so thoroughly checked! This worked, yes indeed! I even saw her a few times for the vitamin IV treatments and I believe wholeheartedly that it played a huge factor in dodging the HG this time around.
  • We will be investing in organic and ethical foods, when possible. $$$!! I know. I didn't pay too much attention to this, but when feasible, was purchased.


Surroundings

  • We need to empty our home from like...everything, basically! This is the time to either give away or box-up most of it. Let's put on our "stage the house" mode, and pretend we need to depersonalize the home for selling. There will be no time to do this while (Lord willing I am not!) under the nausea of HG. Why, why, why!? Stuff keeps creeping into the house after we've hauled bags and bags of stuff to the thrift stores?? Endless battle. I'm still working on this matter and I hope this family can live as minimalists before (Lord knows) baby #6 is on its way!
  • Simplify homeschool to nearly a complete self-led study. We will be signing the kids up for mathseeds.com and ixl.comraz-kids.com, brainpop and brainpopjr.com. Hubby will be prepared to take over some of the schooling, especially in the beginning. This didn't work? Weird, I wonder why? We just stuck with their regular homework and my husband helped a lot more in the evenings and weekends to "catch up". 
  • Now or never is the time to focus on "attitude" with the children. They do their chores, but when I am out of action- they need to do these without being asked. Rewards system, ready-set-go! A wall chart will help them keep their progress and goals visual. My husband and I really had an action plan going on. Throughout the pregnancy, my husband got the children ready for "homeschool" a.k.a life! before he went to work. During the morning routines he would have brief "daily plan" meetings with them. This helped them focus on what was expected of them regarding chores, attitude etc.
  • Getting a pair of "walkie-talkies", check! The best purchase EVER. No more struggled whimper yells. "Purple leader calling for red-leader. Over." Thankfully I didn't need these when the time came. I didn't have HG!!! :) :) regardless, they're an awesome investment! :)
  • Cooking 20-30 freezer meals for my family. Stocking up the freezer and pantry with portioned healthy snacks and ready P&J, and cheese&deli sandwiches. I need to get my thinking cap on...menu planning, here I come! Ha ha ha! I sucked at this! Thank goodness for Costco! To be honest, we ordered sushi in most days and nights when I wasn't able to "cook" a.k.a wrap up some quesadillas. Thankfully my children were able to fend for themselves and whip up all sorts of fascinating creations... and still eat them...LOL j/k the creations were not really THAT bad, just interesting!
  • Letting go of commitments. All the "extras" that my family and I can live without. Thank you Lord that I have grown up enough to say "no" to people. Even to my favourites.
  • For me, a mini fridge next to my bed is a must. Best thing ever! Early pregnancy I was to wake up 1-2 times a night to eat something high in protein. My husband had the duty to make sure that happened. In the beginning I ate something like "Wasa light rye crackers" with peanut butter, until I found it tedious to eat half a sleep, and extremely "dry" to chew on, ha ha! Eventually I had 1C worth of protein shake, or a deli and cheese rolls. To be honest, I hated this part of the pregnancy but, I'm a 100% sure it made a huge (positive) difference regarding my nausea in the mornings. Also, in the mornings before I got out of bed, I had to eat a full breakfast and wait for my blood sugar to level out. When my husband went on a business trip, my friend came over for a "sleep over" to make sure my morning kicked off well. She got my kids ready and made me breakfast. This was a blessing, indeed.
  • Create  "A Family Binder". Gather all the information of everything you or your family -or babysitter, aunt, friend, should have and put it in a binder. Make it accessible, pretty and simple. Telephone numbers, links, chores and menu list, manuals, recipes, instructions etc. Whatever you feel is important for the possible times that you are out of action. Never got around to this, and we never would've needed it. No time was wasted, thankfully. 
  • Stocking up on good quality protein powder and collagen. Thumbs up! Especially when appetite was low, collagen was perfect.


Habits etc

  • Start taking daily epsom salt baths. I think I managed to do this twice. Ionic magnesium supplement internally was my rescue though.
  • Praying as a couple for my womb and for my pregnancy. I would've wanted to do this more...
  • Meditate on scripture and prayer. Yes! :) 
  • Going to bed on time. If I get into bed by 9 p.m, it gives my thoughts and body time to settle into sleep mode. I can spend my time in bed reading or making love to my husband. Both which affect sleep in a positive way. I rested a lot! More than when I only had 1 or 2 children. I napped daily. Making love to my husband... well, maybe not so much in the beginning of my pregnancy. I actually slept in a different bed for the first few months. Our bed, believe it or not, was hurting my "femurs".. I was in so much pain.
  • Habits include diet.
  • Taking care of my appearance and more. A healthy well-kept body is a "strength" to any level of nausea. It made a big difference in my last pregnancy. So what does this mean exactly? For me, it is about getting groomed (waxed, haircut, eyebrows plucked, pedicure etc), visiting a pelvic floor physio -getting my core and pelvic floor into where it should be, working on my cardio and muscle strength at home or at the gym, and over all complexion.  I did visit a pelvic floor physio. I would never go without again. Not only did she "fix" me prior to pregnancy, I didn't pee myself at all while sneezing during the entire pregnancy!
  • I will be budgeting for a cleaner weekly, if possible. I have an amazing mom who purchased  cleaning service for me during my worst , I'm guessing 4 times or so?
  • Same goes for a regular babysitter. Some may think of this as a waste of money, but this is paying for services that I need and will make our lives that little bit manageable/easier. We don't need to go out of the house for a "date" when we hire a babysitter. Doing simply nothing, is bliss. Unfortunately we didn't manage to find a reliable babysitter who was willing to babysit all our 4 children. We didn't get to go out much.
  • Going over remedies that worked for me in my previous pregnancies and accumulating doTERRA essential oils that will be on my "go to" cupboard. It's a "no" for me when it comes to scents during pregnancy, yuck yuck yuck. I think lemon was the only oil I was able to tolerate.
  • This one is pricey- but if possible, I will be going to regular high dose vitamin and mineral IV treatments given by my Naturapathic Dr. I can only see this being a positive impact on my future (lord willing) pregnancy. YES YES YES!!!
Here is my "sum-summarum":

I believe that the crucial steps, which I took prior and during my pregnancy to dodge HG were,
  1. prior to pregnancy and thereafter, avoiding sugars, unsprouted wheat and embracing a more "make from scratch" kind of diet. Adding fermented foods into my daily meals and drinking "super food" greens.
  2. visiting a naturopath for vitamin IV's (Meyer's cocktails). I wouldn't dare to go without these sessions ever again. It made sure I had no vitamin or mineral deficiency prior to my pregnancy. I think I had 1 session in the beginning of my pregnancy.. 
  3. Having huge support from my husband. Him taking on extra work with the children regarding mornings and homeschooling in the weekends. Praying over my future pregnancy and while I was pregnant, I know, THAT made a difference. 
  4. Eating high protein snacks in the middle of the night, hence keeping my blood sugar stable 24/7.
So, even though I did a lot more than these 4, I think these were the crucial ones that I will never ever go without.

I hope these steps will help you too, if you suffer from pregnancy nausea, especially HG.


10/09/2016

Elderberry-Lemon Gummies And More

It is time to prepare ourselves for the "flu season". I love Autumn, love the colours, the crisp air, candles, apple cider, warm woolly socks etc. but, I really detest the snotty noses, followed by the sinus infections and everything else. I HATE with a passion. I don't take my health for granted, or at least I don't think I do, so please please could we just dodge the crap this year??? Probably not, since we do live in a fallen world with disease and curses, and as much as anyone wants to argue that you can dodge sickness and disease with a well around plant based diet, well you just can't. SO, what exactly am I going to do about it?

I have this grand war plan to be as alert as I can with immunity boosting, cootie fighting strategies - which I will list down soon- but as fallible as I am, I'll probably start strong like a commit, lose my focus in a week or so into it and face-plant into the midst of a slimy snot fest. Just from experience, that's all. 

The 10 (ten seems to be a reasonably stupid number to overwhelm us all) Ways You Can Fight The Slimy Snot Fest:

  1. Be the hero of your family, cook a batch of Elderberry-Lemon gummies and convince your family to eat them. My girls and personally I think they taste alright, but my boys are not so sure. I'm working on it! (recipe at the bottom)
  2. Diffuse doTERRA's OnGuard essential oil around the house. This virus/bug fighting killing machine is feisty! I usually lather up OnGuard with coconut oil the bottom of our feet and massage it on around their lymph nodes too. Today I put OnGuard in a capsule with a few other oils (Oregano, Melaleuca and Ginger) and ingested it. Wowza!
  3. Start your day with a "flu-fighting" smoothie. I use, spinach, avocado, frozen berries, vitamin-C powder, Greek yoghurt, orange juice, probiotics, powdered greens etc. with some extracts and other goodies, whatever I can find! I once blogged about it, http://holytempleunderrenovation.blogspot.ca/2012/04/morning-smoothie.html AND http://holytempleunderrenovation.blogspot.ca/2011/09/update-and-super-healthy-morning.html Notice, the latter is "super healthy" lol
  4. Avoid sugar. I can't go into detail.. well I could... but, I'm just too lazy to. Avoid sugar! Trim Healthy Mama Plan has MANY MANY recipes to choose from, and all are sugar-free! Google it! (Affiliated Link) being "pumpkin spice everything-season", I don't want to NOT eat these yummy goodies... I want it all!
  5. If you can afford it, get a Meyer's Cocktail done. Meyer's Cocktail is a highly concentrated vitamin and mineral IV administrated by your healthcare practitioner. In my case, this would be my Naturapathic Dr. down the road. *super-excited!*
  6. Commit to your high quality supplements. I had my Naturapathic Dr. go through my supplements and point out to the ones I was wasting my time and money on. Thankfully, there weren't too many that were poor quality. She pointed out that my probiotics then, consisted mostly from potato starch and less from the actual probiotics... umm ok! Check them out, and commit to taking them.
  7. THM (Trim Healthy Mama) have a few "all day sippers" that are very much so immunity boosting drinks! My favourites are the Good Girl Moonshine, Earth's Milk and Singing Canary. Basically drink plenty of water too! Infused or steeped, drink it.
  8. Make sure you get enough sleep. Maybe a bit more than enough. I'm guessing with the amount of cooties we need to fight off, it wouldn't hurt to ease off from other areas where we put our bodies under so much stress. Lack of sleep is one, diet is another etc.
  9. If you're a woman, make love to your husband! You're probably wondering how on earth this would be helpful and whether my husband paid me to write that in here?? Well, no he didn't bribe me and he is probably very ecstatic about "number 9" which he might hold me to every evening...*sigh*... ANYWAY, the reasons are plenty, here's a teaser -
    "Love Your Husband Love Yourself -Jennifer Flanders"
  10. I would say, hit the gym.... but, with so many cooties floating around, I recommend working-out outdoors. If the weather permits it, go for a run, walk, "freeletics", Pilates outdoors...
WHEW! There's 10 ways to "Kung-Fu" those viruses and bugs. Hope these help!

What do you do to prep for the "flu-season"? Comment below!

Elderberry-Lemon Gummies
Ingredients:
  • 1C dried elderberries
  • 8 drops doTERRA Lemon EO
  • 4C water
  • 6T Gentle sweet or 3T Sweet Blend -taste test and tweak it to your own liking
  • 1t cinnamon
  • 1/2t cherry extract
  • 1/2t vanilla
  • 6,000mg vitamin C powder (optional)
  • 12T Gelatin
Method:
  1. Simmer elderberries, cinnamon, and sweetener  on low heat with 3C water for about 30minutes.
  2. Strain the water into another pan and discard the berries (careful you don't do this the other way around!)
  3. Add the remaining water (or more) to make 4C of liquid in total. Let cool down.
  4. Turn on the heat to medium-low and add the extracts, Lemon essential oil and vitamin-C. Slowly sprinkle in the gelatin as the mixture warms up and whisk until dissolved. 
  5. Heat up, but do not to boiling, then pour it into a glass baking dish or molds. 
  6. Store in the fridge until set and cut into squares. 

15/06/2016

My Future Trim Healthy Mama Pregnancy And More (For a HG Mom)

This morning I woke up with my first menses since about 28-29 months ago. That's being pregnant and nursing our last child. A month ago or so I stopped night time nursing. I needed my sleep back desperately, and I knew once I stopped it would be only a matter of weeks until I started ovulating again. So here I am!

Fertile. Fertile.

What does this mean to an "HG mom"? (Hyperemesis Gravidarum to those who do not know is Extreme pregnancy sickness) It means that it's time to stop slacking in numerous ways and start putting my armor and arsenal on. It all comes down to health, basically. Nutritious foods, good habits, sleep in the bank, etc.

What are some changes that I need to start like, YESTERDAY? Let me map it out for you, but also I'm mapping this our for myself as a reminder.

Diet

Don't do's

  • No sugar. I have to be aware of and avoid hidden sugars. 
  • No unsprouted wheat, and very little sprouted ones.
  • No white rice or white potatoes.
  • No caffeine, coffee, and consume very little home made Skinny Chocolate. I just packed away my "Keurig"... sigh*
  • No heated oils. Using the good oils as salad dressings etc.
  • No processed foods. No junk!
Do do's (ha ha!)
  • Increase fermented foods, sauerkraut, pickles, ACV, probiotics, kefir, kombucha tea, etc
  • Increase vegetables, especially leafy greens. Last pregnancy I was able to juice vegetables more than I could eat them, and it helped me a lot. 
  • Keep hydrated. I know I love me GGMS', but I need to start loving plain old water as well. I've heard that natural spring water makes a bigger difference than filtered water. I gotta check this claim out.
  • Eat according to the Trim Healthy Mama plan. You can find more about it HERE
  • Supplementation. I am seeing a Naturapathic Dr, getting tested for everything to see where my body is at, and we will be supplementing on what needs addressing. Exciting times, indeed! I've never been so thoroughly checked!
  • We will be investing in organic and ethical foods, when possible. $$$!! I know.


Surroundings

  • We need to empty our home from like...everything, basically! This is the time to either give away or box-up most of it. Let's put on our "stage the house" mode, and pretend we need to depersonalize the home for selling. There will be no time to do this while (Lord willing I am not!) under the nausea of HG. 
  • Simplify homeschool to nearly a complete self-led study. We will be signing the kids up for mathseeds.com and ixl.com, raz-kids.com, brainpop and brainpopjr.com. Hubby will be prepared to take over some of the schooling, especially in the beginning.
  • Now or never is the time to focus on "attitude" with the children. They do their chores, but when I am out of action- they need to do these without being asked. Rewards system, ready-set-go! A wall chart will help them keep their progress and goals visual.
  • Getting a pair of "walkie-talkies", check! The best purchase EVER. No more struggled whimper yells. "Purple leader calling for red-leader. Over."
  • Cooking 20-30 freezer meals for my family. Stocking up the freezer and pantry with portioned healthy snacks and ready P&J, and cheese&deli sandwiches. I need to get my thinking cap on...menu planning, here I come!
  • Letting go of commitments. All the "extras" that my family and I can live without.
  • For me, a mini fridge next to my bed is a must. 
  • Create  "A Family Binder". Gather all the information of everything you or your family -or babysitter, aunt, friend, should have and put it in a binder. Make it accessible, pretty and simple. Telephone numbers, links, chores and menu list, manuals, recipes, instructions etc. Whatever you feel is important for the possible times that you are out of action.
  • Stocking up on good quality protein powder and collagen. 


Habits etc

  • Start taking daily epsom salt baths.
  • Praying as a couple for my womb and for my pregnancy.
  • Meditate on scripture and prayer.
  • Going to bed on time. If I get into bed by 9 p.m, it gives my thoughts and body time to settle into sleep mode. I can spend my time in bed reading or making love to my husband. Both which affect sleep in a positive way. 
  • Habits include diet.
  • Taking care of my appearance and more. A healthy well-kept body is a "strength" to any level of nausea. It made a big difference in my last pregnancy. So what does this mean exactly? For me, it is about getting groomed (waxed, haircut, eyebrows plucked, pedicure etc), visiting a pelvic floor physio -getting my core and pelvic floor into where it should be, working on my cardio and muscle strength at home or at the gym, and over all complexion.  
  • I will be budgeting for a cleaner weekly, if possible. 
  • Same goes for a regular babysitter. Some may think of this as a waste of money, but this is paying for services that I need and will make our lives that little bit manageable/easier. We don't need to go out of the house for a "date" when we hire a babysitter. Doing simply nothing, is bliss. 
  • Going over remedies that worked for me in my previous pregnancies and accumulating doTERRA essential oils that will be on my "go to" cupboard. More information on doTERRA HERE
  • This one is pricey- but if possible, I will be going to regular high dose vitamin and mineral IV treatments given by my Naturapathic Dr. I can only see this being a positive impact on my future (lord willing) pregnancy. More information HERE
My dear "blogger friend" is pretty much going through what I am as we speak, preparing for a possible future HG pregnancy. She has a wealth of knowledge when it comes down to this all, and it was through her blog that I got most of my knowledge and support through my horrifically sick pregnancies. You can find her blog HERE

So what else can I share? I have my last pregnancy's blog still up there and running. I will most likely continue writing in it, when and if we're blessed with another "peanut". I'm quite excited to find out! You can have a look and read all about how I coped with our previous pregnancy HERE

16/03/2016

Irish Soda Bread -Crossover (Trim Healthy Mama)

This week I have been teaching the kids about St. Patrick and Ireland. Irish Soda Bread is kind of like a must have, I guess LOL. I probably could have made it into an "S" meal, but I decided not to bother but still make a recipe that was compliant to the plan. 

So here it is! Our very first, GLUTEN FREE Irish Soda Bread -THM Crossover... *drum rolling*...


Ta-daa!!!!

It was so yummy, especially smothered in butter! :)

Ingredients:

  • 2C Baking Blend
  • 1 1/2t Baking Powder
  • 1t Baking Soda
  • 1t Salt
  • 2t Xantham Gum
  • 1 stick/ 1/2C Butter (room temperature)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3/4C Almond Milk (unsweetened)
  • 1t Lemon juice
  • 2T Raw Honey
  • 1C Currants or Cranberries
Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F degrees.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately and then combine and beat on medium speed until all ingredients are well combined. Do not over mix.
  3. Dump the dough onto a baking stone. Shape it and cut an X across it.
  4. Bake for 30-40 Minutes until a knife comes out clean. 
Follow me on Instagram @trimhealthycathy for encouraging and inspiring meal ideas!

To support me and my family, use my affiliate link HERE https://store.trimhealthymama.com/#_l_yy to purchase your Trim Healthy Mama products. Very much appreciated!!!

22/02/2016

My trim Healthy Mama SCALE Victory So Far.

SO, I've posted about my NSV's (non scale victories) quite a bit. The reason I have not posted about my SCALE victories is because I have had the hardest time finding any before photos of myself at my heaviest. I look at the pictures from last year and it seems that any picture that I'm in, I'm either hiding behind something or someone and my camera angle is deceiving. Understandably, I'm guessing! I didn't want to be "seen".

These "before" pictures are not from when I was my heaviest, but they're "up" there, so they'll have to do.

My starting weight was around 245 lb 2015

My current weight is 192 lb


(Do note: I'm 5'8/ 171cm tall)




These photos were taken late August 2015

And now the photos from today...



Sorry for the extremely dirty mirror. Oh what joy is it to have little sticky hands, a.k.a CHILDREN!

I have a long way to go, but I'm midpoint! Another 20 to 50 lb, I'll take whatever :)

My top 10 THM products that I can't live without.
The link below is my affiliate link. If you choose to order through it, thank you a million! If you do not, no worries! However, I do encourage you to try the Trim Healthy Mama plan out, regardless of whether you can purchase the brand name products or not. There are many other brands at your local health food/Walmart even, that sell them.

  1. Collagen. Integral Collagen is a pure protein powder for health and beauty as well as yummy food creations. From the grasslands of Argentina and Brazil, 
    bovine Integral Collagen is pork free and processed with integrity. It dissolves easily in liquid with no blending required and is completely tasteless
    . This makes it the perfect choice to swirl into Greek yogurt or pour into your hot tea for a nutritional overhaul.
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar (Bragg's)
  3. Gentle Sweet. Having trouble adjusting to the taste of Stevia? Sweeten those “hard to get right” treats with Gentle Sweet and you can bank on the “yum!”  word passing your lips. The Trim Healthy Mama community fell in love with our pure Stevia extract and Super Sweet Blend, but some of you kept begging us for a sweetener that popped like pure sugar itself. Gentle Sweet blend has a cotton candy taste but won’t mess with your blood sugar.
  4. MCT Oil. This is the ultimate “trimmifying” oil, with 100% Medium Chain 
    Trglycerides that boost your metabolism life rocket fuel. MCT Oil has 
    become the delicious and multi-talented dietary BFF of Trim Healthy 
    Mamas all over the globe. Its succulent silky texture and neutral taste 
    make it perfect to whip into your morning coffees that we call 
    “Trimmies” and to drizzle over large leafy salads topped with protein. 
    It delivers a very fatty mouth feel but provides the fewest calories of 
    any oil!
  5. Miracle Noodles. Not-Naughty-Noodles contains 6g fiber, which is known to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels as a part of a healthy diet. They are made from Japanese Konjac Root which is one of the most alkalizing foods found in nature (even higher than green super foods). Konjac Root fiber is known as Glucomannan and is both a powerful colon cleanser and detox aid. Glucomannan is a healthy alternative to processed flours. Unlike other noodles that explode the fat cells, Not-Naughty-Noodles make fat scram. So twirl them on your fork and indulge heartily.
  6. Oolong Tea. Oolong tea is 100% natural, fat-free, calorie-free, gluten-free, sugar-free and preservative-free. So feel free to sip your way to increased vitality and better health. Keep on sipping for all the many benefits it offers. But above all… drink it because it’s delicious. Either in The Shrinker or just as an iced or hot tea. It harmonizes beautifully with a Doonk of Trim Healthy Mama Stevia Extract.
  7. Sunflower Lecithin. Lecithin is not a weird defangled man made substance. It is a powerful 
    brain food. Did you know that approximately 1/3 of your brain is made 
    from lecithin? When you include lecithin in your diet, you are 
    nourishing your brain and helping to support your nervous system. 
    Lecithin is a historical superfood that is making a comeback from the 
    source of sunflower seeds. Trim Healthy Mama Sunflower Lecithin is pure,
    soy-free and does not contain any GMO’s.
  8. Nutritional Yeast.
  9. Baking Blend. You can totally make this from scratch, like I do, but when I can afford it, I buy it. Finally a gluten-free, low glycemic baking mix that isn’t excessively loaded with fuel. Our blend also contains disease-fighting lignans and satisfies any hungry tummy with large amounts of insoluble fiber.
  10. Troodle, Noodle Maker. What on earth is a Troodle? It’s a magic little gadget that makes your 
    noodles trimming! Yup, this Mama toy can twist out trimming noodles in a
    couple of minutes. Waist whittling pasta can be twisted on your fork 
    tonight for dinner. Try it… it turns kitchen work into play. Say goodbye
    to fattening noodles and welcome Troodles into your life.
To order yours, go to Cathy's Affiliate Link.

18/02/2016

Eating Trim Health Mama Way, Ethically. Possible?

The Trim Healthy Mama Plan is amazing! It's biblical, it caters for all individuals. It works. It's been a blessing to me for the past 6 months. I've had about 20 victories with the THM plan and I can't hype about it enough HERE and HERE. I love THM!

At first our dishes were loaded with dairy products. The THM book recommends to eat the "full fat cream" and "butter" and enjoy the "cheese" for they are approved foods. The book even quoted "Abraham's encounter with the angels: He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.
" and other scripture where it clearly reads that dairy was consumed etc. 

So, my conscience has been bugging me about the grain fed, GMO fed, caged and mistreated animals, which lead me onto a mission to buy more organic and trust that making these healthy egological changes, god would provide us the means. It happened, we've managed to buy organic grass fed beef, homestead organic eggs, and organic cheese etc. Great, right!? Well there is more. Sadly.

After stumbling across a short clip of how dairy cows are impregnated and separated from their babies right after birth, over and over again, just for our dairy "needs"?


This picture got to me. I have a baby. I know that we differ from the animals, and have been given "stewardship" over them, but I do not believe in exploiting them. 

What else did I come across?
This... the milk, that have the "cow growth hormone" is not allowed for her, but taken -for us.

and...

this. Is this ethical?

I ended up doing my own research and contacting a few local organic farms to find the "ethical farm" that would not do such an inhumane thing as separating a baby calf from it's mother immediately after birth... surely?? 

Unfortunately, I have yet to find one :( 

What I did find, I am struggling with. It made me question my family's diet and where we buy our foods from. I have gone back and forth with scripture... "He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree"... what about the exploitation of dairy cows..what am I supposed to do.. now that I know. But now I know. Now, I know. How do I move forward with the information, conviction, guilt and trust the Word??

Just to dissect the scripture a little the lay man way, before I talk about my ideal way of raising dairy cows -
He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, -stop here! He brought these to ANGELS. Not, billy and Jane next door, but to divine angels. Angels! Did the cow just give birth to a calf that didn't make it? Was this an unfortunate birth that ended sadly, and nothing was wasted? Was the cow milked and the milk made into butter. Was this a special treat, a special "angelic treat"? I wonder if back then, dairy and cheese and butter was such a special food, that only happened once in a while? Was it reserved for guests of honour, weddings or such? It makes me think. Okay let's move on, .."and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree". He obviously didn't eat it himself. Interesting...? Any thoughts?


So what is my ideal dairy cow farming? I am not sure, I guess I am still thinking through it, but let's dream a little. :) (I know farm life, so I won't go into all the details of water expense, the labour etc) Firstly, I don't think we ought to be consuming so much dairy in the first place. (Then the second part, seems to be more realistic) Secondly, I think a neighborhood should share a cow. "Cowshare". Let's pretend I have a homestead, mostly "plant based" homestead. I got myself a dairy cow, her name is Bessie. Bessie is a sweet cow, she grazes all day and fertilizes the ground for the next years crop. She is expecting:) (naturally) yay! Our kids are super stoked to "baby" Bessie's calf. She is so adorable. She is nursing well and is playful. It's so lovely to see them bond! There is our window to milk Bessie in between her feeds with her baby. We get enough milk for homemade cheese and perhaps some fresh milk. Maybe we can make clotted cream for our homemade scones, and any other special dairy treat that we've been craving for :) buttermilk, kefir, etc? Lovely! Bessie's babe is growing well, everything is well at the homestead. It's just like "Little House On The Prairie" where these special foods are not taken for granted. they feed our tummies and our souls, oh how do we appreciate Bessie's dairy! One day, unfortunately Bessie for one or another reason has to be put down. She served us well, we appreciate her, we love her and "wish her well". Her meat nourishes us for quite some time, her bones are made into broth, her blood nourishes the land and her hide is put to good use. She is not wasted, and her beautiful creation, "baby Bessie" takes her place on our homestead. SO the cycle starts all over again.

Yes I know, that sounded like a fairy tale and that there is so much "more" to having a dairy cow... I know. But this is MY daydream. This dream is the "ethical" that is missing in my "organic". 

SO, how am I going to keep on following the THM plan according to my convictions?

  • I am going to have to give up or eat very little dairy. I will have to hunt for dairy free options and be on a mission to eventually find my "ethical farm". I am sure He will provide. Until then, I hear great things about "goat's milk" and their "baby breaks". maybe I'll develop a taste for goat's yoghurt and cheese? (we haven't drank dairy milk in 7 years anyway)
  • Increase protein and calcium rich plant based food in our diets.
  • Keep moving forward with buying more organic vegetables, eggs and meat. (I have my "dealers" I know where my eggs and beef come from)
  • Eat less meat.
  • Grow our own urban vegetable garden, and teach my kids how to also.
  • Keep doing the THM plan like normal. I mean, it's possible, there are a lot of people out there allergic to dairy! It can be done.
So, for those who also struggle with this, put it out there, God knows where you're at, He will meet you THERE. He loves to provide. LOVES. There is nothing wrong with going "ethical", but there is something wrong with going against YOUR convictions. Pray about it, ask Him to take them away if they're not from Him, or to give you options if they are.


Let me know what your thoughts are??

**I am not looking to debate, any negative comments will not be published**